Driver Hits Protesters at Kiwi Herring Vigil in the Grove

Kiwi Herring was shot by police Tuesday morning in her north St. Louis home. - via Twitter
via Twitter
Kiwi Herring was shot by police Tuesday morning in her north St. Louis home.
A vigil to honor Kenneth "Kiwi" Herring, a transgender woman killed by police in north St. Louis Wednesday, turned ugly tonight when an impatient driver refused to stop for protesters, hitting three of them.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch photographer David Carson captured the moment when the car drove through the assembly on Manchester Avenue in the Grove.

Carson tweeted, "Car just drove through protesters on Manchester, few injuries not major, only scrapes. Driver fled police chased not pulling over."

Schron Jackson, a police spokeswoman, said the driver was taken into custody on a charge of felony fleeing.

Jackson emailed us,
Tonight, a group of protesters marched from the Transgender Memorial to the intersection of Manchester and Sarah were they blocked traffic in all directions. A vehicle approached, stopped, honked its horn and attempted to drive around the protesters.

The protesters surrounded the vehicle and began striking it with their hands and a flag pole. Several protesters also kicked and jumped on top of the vehicle. The driver of the vehicle (white male) proceeded to drive away when three protesters ( 2 white females and 1 white male) fell from the vehicle. The three protesters reported minor injuries, but refused medical attention on the scene.

Police attempted to stop driver of vehicle who initially refused to stop. He stopped about a block away from the incident and was taken into custody for felony fleeing. The incident was captured on video. The investigation is ongoing.

But protester Keith Rose took issue with that assertion. In a public post on Facebook, he wrote,
The police are saying that he drove through the crowd because people were surrounding his car and striking it. That is not true.

He drove toward a group of about 4 protesters and stopped just before he was about to hit them. He had both hands off of the wheel and was giving the middle finger. More protesters got in front of the car to stand by the others. Some stood off to the side. I did not see a single person behind his car. He then began to drive forward, slowly hitting people.

It was only once he was already hitting people and increasing his speed that people began to hit his car. He continued to drive faster, deeper into the crowd, turning to his left as he went. By the time he left the intersection he was going pretty fast. He whipped around another corner and was chased by the police.

He was caught almost a mile away near Rally's. (The police statement said "about a block from the intersection".) The SLMPD is going out of its way to protect this man who tried to run over people just a couple weeks after the Charlottesville attack. This kind of immunity from consequences only emboldens the people who want to harm protesters.

Shaken attendees took to social media last night. Some shared the license plate of a black Mercedes sedan that they said was involved.

Herring was shot to death by St. Louis police officers early Tuesday in north St. Louis. They say they received reports of a domestic dispute and arrived to find a 30-year-old man badly cut around the face, arms and torso. Police allege that Herring, also 30, was armed with a large kitchen knife and swung at officers — and that they then shot her.

Kristy Thompson, 28, was taken into police custody. Police say she was also involved in the attack on the 30-year-old male victim.

But the police response drew ire because they initially described the deceased as a 30-year-old man. Herring, friends and family say, identified as a woman.

The city's LGBTQ community paid tribute yesterday, even as others criticized the language in the initial police reports (and later media coverage).

The Metro Trans Umbrella Group has been raising money for Herring's family online. So far, more than $5,000 has been donated.

Editor's note: This post was updated Thursday morning to include observations from Keith Rose, a protester on the scene Wednesday.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at [email protected]

Sarah Fenske

Sarah Fenske is the executive editor of the RFT and its sister papers. She is the former host of St. Louis on the Air and continues to host its Legal Roundtable, as well participating as an occasional panelist on Nine PBS' Donnybrook. She lives in St. Louis.
Scroll to read more St. Louis Metro News articles

Join Riverfront Times Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.